With her eye for fashion and her beautiful hats, this woman has been making women look and feel beautiful since she was only 16 years old. You may have known her at Dress & Dwell in New Albany, helping to style ladies for years with her mentor Amanda Mulvene. Or you may know her by her hat company Headcandi with custom hats and fascinators that have been donning the heads of celebrities and well-dressed women for Derby for years. Now you can find her at her new boutique, House of K, which opened last week in New Albany. This boutique offers prom and special occasion dresses with a focus on younger ladies who want to look unique, modern and sophisticated. Despite her arduous work schedule and lack of sleep, this woman remains one of the warmest, most gracious and kind businesswomen, and it shows by her clientele’s love and loyalty to her. Meet our FACE of Louisville this week, Britni Knable.
Tell us about your new store, House of K.
How did House of K evolve or come into being?
I have worked in the retail industry since 16 years old, and over the years, I have truly been blessed to have worked for some great boutique owners. This past year, the timing was right, and I decided to make the leap to opening my own boutique.
Will you still be doing Headcandi?
Yes! I have been doing Headcandi for over 10 years now and have built a great business with amazing clients. So in addition to the House of K boutique, you will still be able to find Headcandi pieces at Rodes, Merci Boutique, Dress & Dwell (New Albany and Louisville pop-up shop), Von Maur, Bella Rose and Lulubelles.
Give us your typical work day in April.
A typical day consists of waking up at 6 a.m., checking emails, getting a quick workout, eating breakfast, drinking matcha and Quills coffee and then checking more emails. Then I usually have a quick call with “Mama Cat,” my mom, to to discuss the game plan for the day. I then work on Derby pieces until about 10 a.m. and head to the House of K, where I work from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. After that, I head up to my studio and work on Derby pieces until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., then get a couple hours of sleep and repeat until the week of Derby. The week of Derby I’m not really sure what happens, but everyone gets their hats!
When do you find time to eat, sleep or have any personal time?
From mid-March until the first Saturday in May, my life is consumed by Derby. So, eating, sleeping and personal time definitely take the back burner. I have been working hard this year to find a balance, so I have made a commitment to get a quick workout in everyday (check back with me to see how this goes). I truly love what I do, so I enjoy this process. There is nothing like Derby time!
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The word balance comes to mind! Finding a balance of not working 24-7! I am really trying to stay on a healthy track this year and keep up my Whole 30 lifestyle. But when I am not working during this busy, busy time, I tend to feel guilty for taking self-care time!
The most rewarding?
Realizing my dreams.
If you were not in your current job, what would you secretly love to do?
Own a old-time candy store — hint: where the name Headcandi came from.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
If you follow me on social media, I am pretty much an open book. I still drive my first car from high school, a Jeep!
What are three words that describe you?
Passionate, genuine and creative
What advice do you treasure?
“Sleep when you’re dead.” Mama Cat always told me this. My parents Elmer and Mama Cat have given so much advice to me and my siblings over the years. They taught us by one of the best ways possible: they live their advice, teaching the four of us by their actions and not just their words — teaching us to work hard and treat everyone with respect.
Fill in the blank. You’ll never see me without my ____________.
Quills coffee and a needle and thread
Where can we find you hanging out around town?
The Exchange pub + kitchen or living at my new boutique, the House of K.
Favorite thing to do in Louisville:
The Track! Churchill for the win! I usually go on days other than Derby week, because I am fulfilling last-minute orders and working with celebrity clients. When I find time to get away, I love to shop the local boutiques and try out all of the new restaurants.
Tell us some of your favorite local restaurants.
What’s on your personal reading list right now?
Reading list?! Well that’s a favorite pastime of mine, and I wish I had time to read! I am a podcast listener. I hand-sew all of my hats and fascinators, so I am more of a listener. I love NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz, The Glossy, Unstyled and Gary Vaynerchuk, just to name a few.
What are three of your favorite things right now — besides faith, family and friends?
Anything gold, lucite and blush — I am building out my permanent location right now, so buying decor for the store is on my mind.
Find Britni at her new boutique, House of K, at 203 W. First St., New Albany, IN 47150 • (502) 640-0049. Interested in a Headcandi hat or fascinator? Check out her beautiful, wearable art at shopheadcandi.com.
Thank you to Adele Reding of Adele Reding Photography for the beautiful pictures of Britni.
To be inspired by other great women in Louisville, check out our other FACES of Louisville!